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Pattern Hacking: the Polly Top goes sweetheart

It's no secret that a significant proportion of what inspires us here at By Hand London is you guys. What you're wearing, what you're making, all the weird and wonderful ways you interpret the same pattern is what drives us to make more. So when we spied Rachael's adorable sweetheart Polly Top adaptation, we just had to follow suit and make one (or two!) ourselves. Here's how we did it:

You will need:

  • The Polly Top pattern - assembled and cut out and ready to go
  • French curves (optional)
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • tape
  • your fabric

Step 1: Altering the pattern

To alter the panel to a sweetheart shape, first we need to draw on the heart shape to the front panel. If you have them, use French curves to help you get the perfect line. Remember, the deeper the V, the harder it will be to sew. To make your life easier, it might even be worth curving the V of the heart a little as you get to the fold edge of the panel.

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London

Step 2:

When you're happy with the shape, cut it out and simply transfer the piece you cut away from the panel to the centre front of the main top piece. Stick into place.

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London

Step 3: Making the top

Now go about the cutting of your fabric as usual, and lay out your top front and panel pieces, right sides facing down.

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London 

Step 4:

Starting at the centre of the heart shape, we're going to pin and stitch each side individually. This will help us to achieve the best possible finish and minimal puckering at the V. Begin by matching notches and centre front, then pinning in between easing out the fullness at the curve. Stitch from the centre front.

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London 

Step 5:

With one side stitched down, we now need to snip into the centre front of the panel to enable us to open it up and pin down the other side. This part is fiddly, so go carefully, especially while stitching. It's very common to get a little puckering at the V, so don't feel disheartened if you have to unpick and restitch this part a couple of times to get it right - we definitely didn't nail it first time!

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London

Step 6:

Now give the whole thing a really good press, pressing the excess seam allowance in towards the panel. Finish off the seam allowance with pinking shears or on an overlocker/serger.

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London

Step 7:

Continue putting your Polly Top together as normal. Done!

Polly Top - sweetheart neckline adaptation - By Hand London

{flower bouquet cotton from The Village Haberdashery}

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